After being reported missing for 4 days, the dismembered bodies of Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland, both 21-year-old black males, were found in an Oklahoma City pond on April 18.
Authorities have chosen not to pursue hate crime charges, despite some calling the incident a “modern day lynching.”
This literally appears to be a modern day lynching.
These 2 men, and 1 other, abducted 2 young Black men from a grocery store parking lot in Moore, Oklahoma.
Then shot & killed them.
Stripped them naked. Burned clothes.
Took them to a pond & tied their bodies to cinder blocks pic.twitter.com/m7m0Sq03X5
— Shaun King (@shaunking) April 26, 2018
Police arrested Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 22, Johnny Shane Barker, 43, and Brett Boettler, 16, who police say is the suspected shooter. Their mother, Crystal Rachelle Boettler, 40, has also been charged with accessory after the fact.
The 2 victims met the Boettler brothers in a grocery store parking lot for a gun sale set up on Craigslist. Garcia-Boettler claims he heard a gun being “racked”, so Brett decided to immediately kill Smith and Moreland.
Kevin Garcia-Boettler told police he and his brother took the dead bodies to Barker who helped them “dispose of the bodies” and clean the van. They tied cinder blocks to the bodies so they would sink in the pond. In addition, “He told police they removed both victims’ clothing and burned them in a barrel before dumping them in the water.”
Despite many bloggers and activists on social media comparing the murders to lynching, the prosecutor for the case said the crimes were not racially motivated, so no hate crime charges are being pursued.
“We definitely explored that, and the evidence absolutely shows that this was not racially motivated,” said Cleveland County prosecutor Greg Mashburn.
Brett Boettler, is charged as an adult with 1 count each of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, desecration of a corpse, unlawful removal of a body and for having a gun after he had been convicted as a juvenile.
Kevin Garcia-Boettler faces charges of being an accessory to murder, desecration of a corpse and unlawful removal of a body.
Crystal Boettler is charged with being an accessory to murder. Her boyfriend, Johnny Barker, 43, is charged with being an accessory to murder, desecration of a corpse and unlawful removal of a body.